Tag Archives: Aitken Spence Cargo

Aitken Spence Hosts WACO International Conference in Colombo

3 Dec
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From left to right: Mr. Rohantha Peiris – Managing Director, Aitken Spence Cargo, Mr. Jerome Brohier – Vice President, Aitken Spence Cargo, Waco board members Mr. Shinji Kitamura , Mr. Kristjan Palsson , Mr. Rajan Brito – Deputy Chairman and Managing Director, Aitken Spence PLC, Mr. Thomas Reuter – Waco board member, Mr. Stephen Knight – Chairman,Waco, Mr. Richard Charles – Executive Director,Waco, Mr. Arthur A. Da Silva – Vice Chairman, Waco & Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake – Chairman & CEO Aitken Spence Maritime & Logistics and Director of Aitken Spence PLC.

Aitken Spence Cargo hosted the 83rd General meeting of WACO, the world’s foremost independent global freight management & logistics networkrecently, for the first time in Sri Lanka.

With 64 countries in attendance, the event gives the network global partners the opportunity to meet during the bilateral meetings and discuss future plans and strategies as well as review past initiatives.Aitken Spence Cargo was the host member and is the WACO representative in Sri Lanka since 2002.

An exclusive network consisting of independent freight management companies, Waco was founded in 1973. Its current membership is from 104 countries in over 450 locations employing over 30,000 freight professionals handling over 2 million shipments per year with an annual turnover of USD 4 billion. The company is an association owned by its members with its corporate head office in Zurich and operational management in London.

Aitken Spence Maritime & Logistics Chairman & CEO and Director of Aitken Spence PLC Dr.Parakrama Dissanayake spoke on “Global Container Shipping – Challenges / Trends and Implications on Indian Sub-Continent Transhipment Hubs”, as the keynote speaker.

Members of the Board of WACO led by its Chairman Stephen Knight, at a meeting with Aitken Spence representatives led by its Deputy Chairman and Managing Director J M S Brito discussed opportunities arising from the new government’sagenda for infrastructure development and initiatives in propelling Sri Lanka as a maritime hub.

Aitken Spence is Sri Lanka’s largest integrated logistics services provider. Aitken Spence Cargo is considered as the company that pioneered freight forwarding in the country, now providing total freight and logistics solutions with offices in 15 locations. It has offices in Bangladesh, Maldives and Pakistan. Aitken Spence Cargo represents Qatar Airways Cargo in Sri Lanka, TNT Express in Sri Lanka & Maldives, while also representing SriLankan Airlines Cargo in theMaldives and Bangladesh.

Aitken Spence Cargo leads the industry in ISO14001 certification

6 Dec

Aitken Spence Cargo, the Freight Forwarding arm of Aitken Spence PLC was recently awarded ISO 14001: 2004 Environmental Management Systems Certification.

Managing Director Rohantha Peiris stated that Aitken Spence Cargo is honoured to be among the first in the industry to achieve this prestigious certification demonstrating commitment to environmentally friendly practices, at a recent ceremony where the certificates were presented to Aitken Spence Cargo by Det Norske Veritas (DNV).

“We are happy that Aitken Spence Cargo being the pioneer International Freight Forwarding company in Sri Lanka is one of the pioneers in the industry to achieve ISO 14001 certification” stated General Manager Nishan Jayawardena – Management Representative (M.R.)-Environmental & Quality Management Systems (EMS & QMS) and Dhilmini Palipane- Deputy M.R., Assistant Manager HR, Service Quality & Corporate Sustainability.

Aitken Spence Cargo pioneered international freight forwarding in Sri Lanka and with over 200 staff continues to be a leader in providing integrated logistics solutions, including air and ocean freight forwarding, packing, warehousing, removals, relocations, custom brokerage, international air cargo carriage services, supply chain and logistic management services.

With Aitken Spence Cargo’s Quality Management System certified to ISO 9001: 2008, the Environmental Management System certification to ISO 14001: 2004 places Aitken Spence Cargo among the leading companies in Sri Lanka to have both certifications and further strengthens the company’s integrated management systems in providing total logistics solutions.

Dr. Rohan Fernando, Director Aitken Spence PLC and Head Business Development & Plantations stated “Aitken Spence keenly attempts to manage its impact on the environment in a scientific and systematic way, with almost 50 functional environmental management systems benchmarked under ISO 14001 across the Group. ‘Green logistics’ is becoming a prerequisite mandated by customers and other stakeholders for logistics businesses to be conducted in an environmentally sustainable manner and we commend Aitken Spence Cargo for being pioneers in this endeavour taking the decisive step to ISO 14001 certification, which is in keeping with the Group’s overall objective of developing sustainable businesses.”

Qatar Airways Cargo forges a new way forward with Aitken Spence

19 Oct

Aitken Spence Cargo, the freight forwarding arm of Aitken Spence PLC was awarded the General Sales Agency for Qatar Airways Cargo , one of the rising stars in the Airline Industry. The partnership was announced at a grand social event for key customers and stakeholders in the air cargo industry.
Qatar Airways Cargo, transports cargo to well over 100 destinations worldwide on over 100 aircraft, including the Airbus A300-600 and Boeing 777 freighters as well as passenger aircraft. Special facilities and well-trained personnel ensure expert handling over a wide variety of product categories. These include express products, livestock, dangerous goods, valuables, vulnerable goods, automotives, perishables, oversized cargo and general cargo that require air freight carriage.
Aitken Spence has over 30 years experience in handling both passenger and cargo GSA’s in Sri Lanka. Being the pioneer company to venture in to freight forwarding, Aitken Spence Cargo provides a total solution in freight and logistics under one roof. Aitken Spence PLC, is publicly quoted and one of the leading blue chip conglomerates in Sri Lanka. Aitken Spence has diversified interests in Tourism, Airlines, Port Management, Shipping and Logistics, Plantations, Power & Energy production and other strategic investments. Aitken Spence is renowned for it’s integrity and good governance and the partnership with Qatar Airways Cargo is an appropriate fit. Together, Qatar Airways Cargo and Aitken Spence Cargo have ambitious plans to expand the GSA activity in Sri Lanka by providing a high quality service to their customers and achieve a leading position in the Cargo Airline industry.

Gold for TNT Express at NCE awards

29 Sep

TNT Express, who are represented by Ace International Express(AIX),- the Express delivery arm of Aitken Spence Cargo walked away with the 2009 Gold Award for Support Services to Exporters in the extra large category at the National Chamber of Exporters Award Ceremony held on the 17th of September, 2010.

Apart from TNT’s international express delivery services, AIX also provides comprehensive delivery, logistics, storage and mailroom management solutions for the local market through Ace Xpress Domestic Delivery and Supply Chain solutions. Such an array of services available to exporters under one roof certainly tipped the scales in favour of AIX at the NCE awards. AIX is no stranger to exporters, having won the 2007 Gold award in the large category for support service providers to exporters. In addition AIX was also presented with the most outstanding provider of support services to exporters in 2007.

Acknowledging the recognition of the NCE Gold award, Mr. Jerome Brohier, Country Manager of TNT Express and AVP of Ace International Express stated that “TNT Express is among the world’s four largest integrators and Europe’s leading B2B express delivery and mail company. We are renowned for time-definite, day-certain and on-demand deliveries, Our exporters rely on us to deliver their important documents and time sensitive samples promptly and intact so that they have a competitive edge with their potential buyers. With our presence in over 3000 locations in over 200 countries worldwide, TNT provides door-to-door express delivery using it’s vast fleet of over 43 aircraft’s, over 26,000 ground vehicles and 163,000 employees around the globe. Elaborating further, Mr. Brohier stated “We also support exporters with their import of raw materials or, for that matter, any importer– for example an importer who needs an urgent spare part for a machine or anything from any part of the world can avail of our Receiver Pays import service by just picking up a phone and talking to us. We will simply arrange the pick up from their supplier in whichever country, take care of all customs formalities and ensure a speedy delivery to the local location of their choice. With almost three decades of local presence, TNT Express continues to render valuable services to the local exporters enabling them to reach new markets and expand businesses all over the world.”

Apart from international express delivery, Ace Xpress has been in operation for over 2 decades and is a pioneer in the field of domestic delivery. Ace Xpress has an island wide network and can boast of being the only express delivery company to operate an office in Jaffna during its war-torn years. Ace Xpress provides unmatched services in connecting people and organisations with their customers, suppliers, branches and even friends and family across the country. In addition, AIX also represents Quantium Solutions, a dynamic provider of international mailing solutions.

Commenting on this achievement, Mr. Rohantha Peiris, Managing Director of AIX affirmed that “Benchmarking best practices and continuously improving on our service delivery is uppermost in our mind. The needs of our stakeholders are the focal point that drives us to improve our standards and ultimately delivers more benefits to our stakeholders. Today, we no longer deliver just documents and small parcels, we have expanded our services to cover the most complex supply chain solutions – warehousing, inventory management, multimodal transportation, domestic distribution and on demand delivery.”

Mr. Peiris further stated that “This award is a reflection of our growth, innovation and commitment to provide the best services which our industry could offer.”

While listing the numerous accolades which were won by his company in the past, Mr. Peiris draws attention to the fact that, in addition to the previous NCE Gold Awards, AIX remains the only Express delivery company to have won the coveted Sri Lanka National Quality Award (NQA) to date. AIX was also the first express operator to be awarded ISO certification having achieved it as far back as 1997, providing assurance to their customers that AIX along with their principle, TNT Express, will leave no stone unturned to ensure that customers get the “best in class services” at all times.

Media Release – 29 September 2010

TNT’s support in ‘Ending child hunger’

7 Jun

TNT, the renowned Air Express Delivery  company once again joined hands with the United Nations World Food Programme (UNWFP) to provide local assistance to the UNWFP‘s global fund raising initiative ‘Walk the World’.

This year’s awareness building theme was the ‘hunger train’ which was unique in comparison to other awareness building strategies adopted across the globe by UNWFP. TNT’s assistance in organizing the train for UNWFP reaffirms TNT local commitment to WFP efforts to ending child hunger in Sri Lanka.

‘Walk the World’ is a global initiative to raise funds for UNWFP’s school feeding program which was initiated by TNT employees’ way back in 2004. By providing a midday meal to students, TNT and the UNWFP hopes to increase attendance in schools as well as improve learning through the old adage “a healthy body equals a healthy mind”. UNWFP and TNT believe that these efforts lay the foundation for a healthy workforce that would build a bright future.

In the year 2002, TNT CEO Peter Bakker and former United Nations World Food Programme (UNWFP) Executive Director James Morris entered a ground breaking partnership to support UNWFP to end global hunger. The partnership resulted in TNT becoming the biggest corporate partner of UNWFP. Being a specialist in logistics and transportation, TNT was in a position to provide it’s expertise to UNWFP to make a life saving difference by ‘getting aid to the right person at the right time’.

At present, UNWFP provides midday meals to students considered as under nourished in several areas of the island. UNWFP’s challenge is to find local donors for this worthwhile project that ensures sustainability through consistent involvement of local donor partners.
Speaking on the occasion, TNT Country Manager Mr. Jerome Brohier stated that TNT initiated ‘Walk the World in 2003 & this is the eighth consecutive year TNT employees are engaged in building awareness on the UNWFP’s main objective to end global hunger under the theme ”End Hunger, Walk the world”. The walks also helped to create awareness on the WFP’s School feeding initiative. TNT employees & their friends in Sri Lanka raised Rs. 913,000 for local school feeding through these walks in the past.

As a response to the Tsunami in 2004 which devastated parts of the island, TNT provided 35 trucks to distribute Aid across the country in addition to an Airbus A300 full of Aid relief flown in directly from Europe. It has been a wonderful experience to be partners with an organization whose sole aim is to eradicate global hunger.

Media Release – 07 June 2010

End Hunger: Walk the World

7 Jun

In a joint effort of the World Food Programme (WFP) and its corporate partners, led by TNT, Unilever and DSM, “End Hunger: Walk the World” campaign was successfully carried out in Colombo on the 6th of June 2010. TNT sponsored the “Hunger Train” which took participants from Colombo to the location in Negombo, where the ceremonies were planned, and back.

Ninety six staff members from TNT took part in this walk along with employees of other partner companies, WFP Goodwill Ambassadors, staff, and beneficiaries as well as government representatives and NGO partners to show their solidarity in the fight against hunger and malnutrition. Hon. Basil Rajapakse, Senior Advisor to his Excellency the President and Member of the Parliament, and Hon. Bandula Gunawardena, Minister of Education graced this occasion.

Walk the World campaign is an annual event to raise funds and awareness for WFP’s efforts to fight child hunger and malnutrition. In the previous year 360,000 people from 210 locations around the world participated at this event to raise funds for the provision of school meals to 20,000 children in the world’s poorest countries for one year.

Sustainability – 07 June 2010

Sure We Can

27 Apr

An interview with Jerome Brohier, Director, Aitken Spence

TNT is one of the top three express companies worldwide and has been represented by Aitken Spence in Sri Lanka, for over 26 years. Recently, TNT and Ace Xpress have conjunctively opened an office in Vavuniya, which will help serve their growing number of clientele in this region. However, when Jerome Brohier starts talking about TNT, one soon realises that there is so much more to TNT’s activities than just courier services.

Mr. Jerome Brohier, Country Manager of TNT/Director AIX (On right) accepting the first package from Mr.Mads Vejlstrup (On Left) of UNWFP at the newly opened Express Center in Vavuniya.

On a worldwide scale, TNT has been involved in social responsibility activities for many years, and although, every TNT country office is required to donate a small sum to the CSR fund, it was the 2004 tsunami that first brought Sri Lanka to the attention of TNT’s corporate “help” radar. During the first eight months following the tsunami, TNT volunteered to assist the UN World Food Programme, not only did the company volunteer logistical services, but funds were donated as well. Over 24 million rupees worth of assistance was given, with financial aid being completely donated by TNT offices worldwide.

TNT’s CSR project was proving to be truly sustainable, not only for the lives and livelihoods affected by circumstances but also for the company’s future business. For, it was not long before the WFP had established that the integrity and efficiency of TNT and Aitken Spence Cargo would make them an ideal commercial partner and made a request for the handling of transport and distribution. In an emergency situation, TNT assists WFP through a range of activities varying from vehicles to manpower.

During the fiercest fighting in the North, TNT vehicles carrying food and other necessities were allowed into the war zone bearing WFP flags on the side of the trucks and with personnel wearing both TNT and WFP arm bands.

Aitken Spence Cargo now provides supply chain solutions to three key NGO’s operating in the North and East and particularly in the Manik Farm IDP camp. Solutions range from providing warehouse personnel who help manage the WFP warehouse, to supplying transport and logistical vehicles.

Jerome says that the fact that they work not just with the UN WFP, but also with many other NGO’s is a testament to the work ethics of the company; in an industry where “incentives” are a norm, Aitken Spence Cargo combines hard work with creativity in order to ensure that all services are supplied in compliance with the international and local laws and ethics.

Ace Magazine – 2010

From Teenager to the Top

16 Nov

From Teenager to the topMohan A J Perera was 18 when he began a career with the Aitken Spence group that was to take him to the top. When he left the group on March 2009 to become CEO of a global shipping company in Australia, he was Vice President/CEO of Aitken Spence Cargo (Pvt) Ltd, and Country General Manager for TNT Express, Sri Lanka & Maldives.

The remarkable rise from being a teenage management trainee executive to the top slot in an intensely competitive industry was not due to luck. Perera says: “Aitken Spence as a company encouraged us to pursue our studies. This was a highly motivating factor in the early 1980s. At the time of joining ASET Ltd (the then transport arm of Aitken Spence) I had passed the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) preliminary exam.

“In the beginning with ASET, I found that my talents and interest tilted towards marketing and I was encouraged to pursue that field. With hindsight, I would say that the open economy after the 1970s was a great opportunity for diligent, conscientious young executives. Even today it is important that one understands the macro and the micro opportunities available when choosing a career.”

Perera’s choice of leaving the group after 28 years dedicated service, and ten years before his official retirement, was taken selflessly so that he could secure a good education for his two sons in Australia. It was his experience with the Aitken Spence group that enabled him to take on the demanding challenge of being CEO of a network serving 80 cities in 35 countries with tailor made freight solutions at the highest quality of service.

He explains: “I am a person who believes that life is not a smooth run; it has to have its ups and downs. However, what kept me on track was the sheer commitment and focus to the job assigned to me, to carry it out diligently and to the best of my ability. One of my key criteria and requirement from my subordinates was dependability. I considered this as one of the most important factors in my career with Aitken Spence, to ensure that the vision and the goals of the group were achieved.”

After only five years with the company, Perera was promoted as Assistant Manager. He was assigned to a new venture that the company had embarked on: the first Radio Controlled Cab service in Sri Lanka, and the region, under the brand name of Ace Radio Cabs.

“During the early stage of my career with the company,” he says, “the confidence placed in young executives was of immense value and it was an excellent opportunity to mould myself in my career. We were guided by our superiors in the same manner a parent would show to their children.”

In 1990 Perera moved to Ace Cargo to manage the Express Division and six years later was promoted as Director of Ace Cargo. “It was both a challenge and an encouragement to be appointed as a Director at the age of 33,” he says. “It made me shoulder responsibilities which gave me confidence, strength and belief in myself to drive the company to be one of the best in the industry.”

Three years later he was appointed Director/General Manager of Ace Cargo and given the opportunity to serve in Sub Committees and Cross Functional Teams in various group activities. Perera values the years he spent with the company for the opportunity he had to use his initiative that enabled him to develop parallel with the company’s progress. “My advice to any young person joining Aitken Spence,” he says, “is to understand the environment and commit oneself to be able to deliver results for the vision of the company and its management.”

While with Aitken Spence, Perera became a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM-UK) and of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, UK, and is an Associate Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management. He also headed the Demand Generation Unit, the CSR Committee and the Branding Committee, as well as being a Director of many Aitken Spence companies.

Now in the new environment, with new challenges, of Australia, Perera recalls his years with the company with happiness. “I was proud of all my achievements and was content. As I said in my resignation letter, the company gave its best to me and I, in turn, gave my best to the company, so it was a satisfying relationship.”

Speaking from Australia, Perera agreed that without his long association with Aitken Spence, and all the exceptional values he learned from the Company’s management philosophy, he would not have been able to take on the challenge of being at the top of his profession there.

“Further I was able to leave the company with confidence as the team I was personally involved in developing, grooming and guiding, has been empowered by me to ensure that the management culture, which we built as a team, continues as it was.”

2009 – Ace Magazine Issue I